CLOUDS UNFOLD TAKES THE SCEPTRE
What A Winter’s daughter Clouds Unfold justified her cramped odds to add the Gr.2 Sceptre Stakes to her growing resume.
Juniper Spring (Captain Al) looked the winner when going clear a furlong from home, but the Candice Bass-Robinson trained favourite closed relentlessly and, under a strong drive, got up in a bobbing finish to score by a neck.
The Drakenstein homebred has now won three of her last four starts, all at Graded level. She disposed of male rivals in the Gr.3 Cape Nursery, returned three months later to record a fluent victory in the Gr.2 Western Cape Fillies Championship and was not disgraced when third in the Gr.1 Cape Fillies Guineas last time out.
The chesnut is out of the Montjeu mare Montelissima, who was imported as a yearling with her dam Issa (Pursuit Of Love). The Pivotal foal Issa was carrying at the time became Pivotal Pursuit, a Gr.2-placed winner of nine races. Issa also produced juvenile Stakes winner Arria to the cover of Antonius Pius, who incidentally, is out of Issa’s own sister, Gr.1 Yorkshire Oaks heroine Catchascatchcan.
DOUBLEMINT CHARGES HOME
In a four-pronged assault on the Gr.2 Peninsula Handicap, Justin Snaith duly took the honours with the pick of his quartet, the colt Doublemint, who snared the tiring pacemaker Kampala Campari (Querari) on the line.
Now a Gr.2 winner of five races, Alec and Gillian Foster’s homebred also landed the Gr.3 Politician Stakes and Gr.3 Winter Derby at three.
The four-year-old is by Klawervlei-based stallion Twice Over, sire also of Durban July hero Do It Again, who defeated a star-studded field in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate on the day.
A half-brother to Gr.3 Kenilworth Fillies Nursery victress Petala (Captain Al), Doublemint is out of New Zealand-bred Nepeta (Tale Of The Cat), whose siblings include Gr.3 Waikato Guineas hero Blimey O’Reilly (O’Reilly), the Listed Stakes winner Flag Officer (Excites) and Fast Fleet (Fastnet Rock),the am of Lope De Vega’s Australian Gr.1 winner Santa Ana Lane.
Doublemint at the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate festival in 2018 where he won the Policitian Stakes. Image: Candiese Marnewick
TWIST OF FATE FRANKS GUINEAS FORM
Cape Guineas runner-up Twist Of Fate proved there’s no substitute for class when he conceded weight all round and defied a horrible draw to land the Gr.3 Politician Stakes in fine style.
Venturing beyond a mile for the first time in his career, Joey Ramsden’s charge came charging into the lead close home before stamping his authority by a widening two lengths.
The first Stakes winner sired by Jet Master’s son Master Of My Fate, Twist Of Fate won the Listed Somerset Stakes as a juvenile, added the Gr.3 Cape Classic on his seasonal debut and was game in defeat when second to Soqrat in last month’s Gr.1 Cape Guineas.
Bred by the Favour Stud, the colt is out of Breeders Guineas winner Crescent Lily (Counter Action) and hails from the immediate family of Durban July hero Heavy Metal and the Gr.1 winners Planetary Music and Drum Star.
DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR GIMME ONE NIGHT
That Gimme One Night has matured into a stayer of note goes without saying. Successful in last month’s Cape Summer Stayers Handicap, the son of Gimmethegreenlight made it a Gr.3 double with a similar come-from-behind score in the Chairman’s Cup.
Under similar tactics, Brett Crawford’s charged home from last in the straight and picked them off one by one to win the two-mile marathon going away.
The five-year-old completed a hat-trick in the process and will be aiming to add to his earnings of R654,175 when he returns for the Gr.2 Western Cape Stayers on Met day.
A product of Duncan Barry’s Riverton Stud, he out of well-related Parade Leader mare Fiesta Queen, whose siblings include the Western Winter trio of Gr.1 Empress Club victress Fair Maiden, Gr.2 Hawaii Stakes hero Braggadacio and East Cape Guineas winner Azeroth. Gimme One Night’s Captain Al half-sister was the top priced filly at the 2018 National Yearling Sale at R2.9-million.
HAWWAAM SHOWS TRUE GRIT
Sheikh Hamdan, whose Cape Guineas winner Soqrat was narrowly beaten in the Gr.1 L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate, gained some compensation 24 hours later when his Dingaans winner Hawwaam took his perfect record to three from three in Turffontein’s Gr.3 Tony Ruffel Stakes over 1400m, a distance patently too short.
Backed to the exclusion of his rivals, victory looked a formality for the handsome son of Silvano when he drew alongside leader Inexhaustible (Querari) inside the final furlong. However, for the first time in his short career, the colt had a fight on his hand and showed his class to gain the upper hand late by about a neck.
Assistant trainer Mathew de Kock was impressed with Hawwaam’s guts in the finish and said: “When he won first up over 1400m and then took the Dingaans over a mile we all said, ‘wait till he goes over 2000m’. He dropped in distance today so this was a meritorious win because it really is too short for him now.”
Shadwell had outlayed an even million for the Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein-bred as a yearling, who is the second foal out of Gr.3 winner Halfway To Heaven. Her first foal, the triple Gr.3 winner Rainbow Bridge (Ideal World), was a fast-finishing third in last weekend’s Gr.1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.
Storm Destiny pictured in the 2017 National Yearling Sales ring. Image: Candiese Marnewick
STORM DESTINY DELIVERS FAST AND LATE
Mike de Kock worked his magic again, as he also saddled the winner of the Gr.3 Three Troikas Stakes, the Dynasty filly Storm Destiny.
The three-year-old accelerated from off the pace and swooped late to get up on the line from a luckless Running Brave (Brave Tin Soldier), who looked to have the race in the bag close home.
The newly-minted Stakes winner races for Mary Slack and Michael Javett, a partnership which also enjoyed much success with the champion sprinter Alboran Sea (Rock Of Gibraltar). Although she has some way to go to rival that filly’s accomplishment, time should be the late maturer’s ally and she looks set to go on to bigger things, especially over further.
A R500,000 National Yearling Sale graduate, the Ascot Stud-bred Storm Destiny boasts a pedigree out of the top drawer. She is out of the Kilconnel mare Stormy Appeal, a hard-knocking triple Stakes winner of 14 races, who has been as effective in the paddocks as she was on the track. A previous liaison with Dynasty produced the multiple Gr.3-placed Memorial Mile winner Stormy Eclipse, while Fort Wood is the sire of the Stakes winning duo Fort Petersburg and Stormy Coast. She has a yearling filly by Ascot Stud newcomer Global View, a Gr.2 winning son of Galileo.
DAWN ASSAULT A PICTURE OF RESOLUTION
Displaying a wonderfully game attitude, St John Gray’s homebred Dawn Assault refused to be beaten when headed inside the final furlong of the Gr.3 London News Stakes over 1800m and rallied tenaciously to claim the spoils on the line.
Victory came on the heels of an excellent second in last month’s Gr.1 Summer Cup, where he went down by just a half length. The five-year-old entire first gave notice of his talent when landing last season’s Listed Drum Star Handicap and with this eighth career win, he padded an already sizeable bankroll to over R1.2 million.
Dawn Assault is very much a product of his owner/trainer’s breeding programme. Gray raced and bred both the sire Call To Combat and grandsire Announce (National Assembly). Dawn Assault is by far the best of five foals produced by Cayman Ridge (Al Mufti) since her purchase from La Plaissance Stud, for whom she bred three foals, the best of which was Gr.2-placed Caymen Island (Fanatic Dane). A half-sister to juvenile Stakes winner Coded Missile (Forest King), Cayman Ridge is out of the Gr.2-placed juvenile Cayman Haven (Hard Up).
-Ada Van Der Bent / EBN